Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

EspaƱol  Contact

Family: Ginglymostomatidae, Nurse Sharks


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

eye oval, behind mouth
2 large Ds
C notched above, v weak lower lobe
2 barbels under snout
mouth small, transverse, opens near front
5 short gill slits

Next

Previous

FAMILY GINGLYMOSTOMATIDAE

NURSE SHARKS

Diagnostic features of nurse sharks (which reach ~ 3 m) include a short, wide, blunt snout; oval eyes, behind mouth; a pair of large barbels below the snout; a groove between each nasal opening and the corner of the mouth; mouth small, transverse, opens a little under snout; 5 gill slits, the last two very close together and above the pectoral fin; two relatively close-set dorsal fins of about equal size on the rear half of the body; a relatively short, strongly asymmetric tail with almost no lower lobe; no keels on tail base.

A circumglobal family with 3 subtropical to tropical genera and 3 species; one species occurs in our region.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER CARPENTER (2002)